NCLB: The Needle Moves, Damage Done?

This new CEP report showing some modest results for No Child Left Behind will be a flashpoint in the reauthorization debate about the law. Ed Week’s Hoff lays it out very well here. The Hess admonition is the right one, NCLB is a framework, not a program, so the “does it work” question really isn’t the right lens and it’s still too early for that sort of judgment anyway. And, there are a lot of shenanigans, for instance playing with test construction or cut scores, that states can use to boost test scores — that don’t have a lot to do with learning. All that said, if the data looked different the repeal (or “fix” it so much you might as well repeal) crowd would have been braying.

One other thought: One should credit the schools and the teachers, they did the work here. Yet that’s harder to do when their organized groups in Washington have been bitching and moaning so much about the law…

Update: WaPo’s Paley is all over it. NYT is too.

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